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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Mormons and Alcohol in Cooking (Cioppino recipe finally posted) (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Mormons and Alcohol in Cooking (Cioppino recipe finally posted)
Dagonee
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Does the Mormon prohibition on alcohol extend to alcohol used in cooking? If so, is it total (no red wine vinegar, no vanilla extract)?

I'm planning on making a Cioppino today, and one of our guests is Mormon. We're going to call and ask her before I add wine to it. but I got to thinking about the places where alcohol is used in food.

Culinary question: if I need to leave the wine out, what should I use as a replacement? The obvious answer is water, but every single recipe I can find from a recognizable source calls for wine. This makes me think it's pretty important to the flavor.

[ June 14, 2007, 01:20 PM: Message edited by: Dagonee ]

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dkw
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I've used fruit juice, and fruit juice dilluted with water. And sometimes broth, depending on the recipe.
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Dagonee
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That's a good idea. It calls for dry white whine, though, so I'll have to think about the sweetness and what that would do.
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Annie
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It's a personal choice.

One of the American families in my Yokohama church said "we put mirin in our sukiyaki because the bishop's wife did it once too."

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docmagik
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What a kind question!

Honestly, it depends on the Mormon. I, personally, am fine with a little alcohol in my food (beer-battered fish, anyone?), but I know others are not. Most Mormon's don't go out of their way to avoid, say, NyQuil.

I don't think I've ever met a Mormon opposed to vanilla extract.

As for red wine vinegar, from what I understand, there's no alcohol in it. Vinegar is basically wine that's gone bad and become something . . . not wine. Red wine vinegar is basically red wine that's gone bad. If I remember my Alton Brown right, which I may not . . .

As for a replacement, it depends on what the ingredient is used for. If it's just a flavor thing, most people use juices that are semi-close to the flavor they're going for, usually apple. If it serves a purpouse in the cooking, you'll just want to find something else that does the same thing.

And it seems that you already are smart enough to know that all the alcohol doesn't ever "cook out," there's always a little left, even if you set it on fire. That, I do remember from Alton Brown.

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Tatiana
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I had thought until recently that the alcohol did cook out, so I didn't worry about alcohol used in cooking. I understood that "all" the alcohol wouldn't cook out, as in every last molecule, but I wasn't worried about trace amounts. Since I read (on hatrack) that a significant portion does remain after cooking, though, then I've been concerned about it. I think it's good of you to use substitute ingredients, choose another dish that's not made with alcohol, or if it's not the main course, just make people aware that alcohol was used in cooking a dish, so they can avoid it.

I've never heard anyone express concern about vanilla extract, though. That shouldn't be any problem. [Smile]

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quidscribis
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Pretty much everything that Tatiana said. [Smile]


Also, I've read that for white wine, you can substitute clear grape juice or apple juice. Haven't tried it, though.


ETA: We have vanilla extract here that doesn't use alcohol as a base. It has an ingredient list, approved by Fahim and his mother. It works just fine. Hmm, it's not called an extract, though, but something else. I'd have to check it, but it's all the way downstairs and I don't feel like going...

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Swampjedi
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Never cook Mormons with alcohol - it ruins the flavor. Wine works well when cooking Catholics though.
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Ron Lambert
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Very Swiftian, Swampjedi.
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PrometheusBound
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My (conservative Methodist) grandmother warned my mother to be cautious with "European food" cooked in wine, but did not prohibit it outright. Of course, my mother now drinks a gin and tonic every night, so that particular aspect of her upbringing didn't stick.

In short, I do not know, but I can't imagine it being a problem to use a little bit of wine. Asking is alway a good idea though.

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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Swampjedi:
Never cook Mormons with alcohol - it ruins the flavor. Wine works well when cooking Catholics though.

True. For the best flavor, Mormons should be cooked in caffeine-free diet Coke.
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Swampjedi
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<blushes modestly>

I'm a Southern Baptist - best cooked with a beer, but don't tell anyone and deny deny deny!

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Dagonee
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Thanks for all the input everyone.

We called - she doesn't have a problem with it. She thanked us for asking, though.

There's two uses for it: deglazing the pan after sauteing the vegetables, and adding some flavor. I will boil away half the total liquid then simmer for at least a half hour.

This is going to be so good. I'm off to shave fennel!

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DSH
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Ethyl alcohol boils at about 173° F.

If you boil half the liquid away and then simmer for 30 minutes I don't see how you'd have ANY alcohol left after that.

Unless you're doing your cooking on the shores of the Dead Sea! [Wink]

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ketchupqueen
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It completely depends on the Mormon. [Smile]

I personally cook with sherry or white wine once in a great great while. I make sure to cook it at a high enough temp (or flame it if I am cooking something with a high enough alcohol content on the stove) that almost all alcohol will be gone, and only trace amounts will be left. I do, however, buy alcohol-free vanilla extract, because I put it in so many things that don't get cooked. (Also it tastes better.) White and red wine vinegar are vinegar, so a non-issue. Completely different product.

My mother-in-law would never dream of cooking with wine; however, she's never considered the alcohol content in her vanilla.

I think the difference there is that she does what she was raised with and I, being a convert, have thought long and hard about it and made my own choices. Neither is wrong, and we are both following the Word of Wisdom to the best of our understanding.

If I am cooking with alcohol and inviting a friend who is also a member of the Church over, I check before I serve it to them to make sure they're okay with that. [Smile]

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Annie
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Japanese Mormons would never stand for it. They've got the widest range of potentially Word of Wisdom breaking substances known to man, and are among the strictist in its observance that I've met.

One time my Japanese companion expressed disappointment at my purchase of cola flavored candy.

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ketchupqueen
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Of course, I've met Saints from Japan who drink green tea. So YMMV on that one...
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Tante Shvester
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quote:
Originally posted by docmagik:
Most Mormon's don't go out of their way to avoid, say, NyQuil.

Well, then, the answer is obvious. Substitute NyQuil for wine in the recipe!
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Noemon
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quote:
Originally posted by Tante Shvester:
Well, then, the answer is obvious. Substitute NyQuil for wine in the recipe!

Brilliant!
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ketchupqueen
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Actually, YMMV on that one, too-- my father-in-law uses only alcohol-free medications and mouthwashes and such.
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mr_porteiro_head
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I:

Do eat food cooked in alcohol when it is offered.

Do not cook with alcohol or have it in my home

Do cook with with vanilla or imitation vanilla and have it in my home.

Do not take NyQuil or similar.

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Dead_Horse
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I probably wouldn't mind a little cooked alcohol, except I don't like the taste.

Nyquil is yucky and only a good substitute for anisette. [Big Grin]

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MightyCow
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I don't know the dietary restrictions imposed by various religions, but if it's a matter of the intoxicating effects of alcohol, sufficient cooking actually removes the alcohol, leaving only the flavor in the food.

I'm glad I don't follow any religious dietary restrictions, because so many of them seem to rule out delicious food. I'm going to go boil some brats in beer now [Smile] [Big Grin]

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Dagonee
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The meal was a big success - I will post the recipe tomorrow. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves seafood.

On the alcohol and vinegar issue - I wasn't making this up:


Molecular Biology Archive

quote:
name Adnan
status student
age 16

Question - Does Red Wine Vinegar contain alcohol after it is done
transforming, and also if it is able to intoxicate a person.

Vinegars do still contain some level of alcohol. The "vinegar" taste is
actually due to acetic acid, but the chemical transformation is never fully
complete just sitting around a kitchen. Vinegar would be much too gross to
drink in the quantity it would take to intoxicate anyone. If you're trying
to eliminate the alcohol content in your food, cook it (this is true for
wine too). Alcohol is very volatile -- that is, it boils off at pretty low
temperatures. Just remember that alcohol also has a very low flash point
-- the temperature at which it can be set on fire. So be careful if you're
using a lot!
---------
Christine Ticknor
Ph.D. Student
Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut


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quidscribis
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quote:
Originally posted by MightyCow:
I'm going to go boil some brats in beer now [Smile] [Big Grin]

Brats the irritable whiny spoiled children or brats the small dried fish? [Big Grin]
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ketchupqueen
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I think he meant brats the sausages. Bratwurst is traditionally (in some parts of America, at least) cooked in beer when it is not grilled.
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pooka
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No wonder I like red wine vinegar so much. We hadn't bought it in a while and I bought some and for a few days I was having it at every meal. It just tasted soooo good to me. Of course, I was using it to make a lot of greek recipes.

My husband likes cheesefood with the port wine swirled in it. I looked askance at that when we were first married. I once declared I couldn't imagine myself ever eating a beer brat... until one was offered to me by my husband's supervisor at a work party.

I wonder what the alcohol content of bread winds up being, especially a sourdough bread. Most people have yeast in their gut and I believe part of the wonder of eating simple carbs is that they ferment in the gut. I'm certainly not saying there's no point in avoiding alcohol, even if that's what it sounds like.

I don't avoid Nyquil. I can't imagine consuming it for pleasure. Though sometimes I wonder about my husband.

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Sterling
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I asked a similar question about a year ago. The general concensus then seemed to be that alcohol doesn't *completely* cook off as quickly as many people think. Someone had a table of cooking methods and times and % of alcohol removed, which unfortunately I don't seem to have remembered to bookmark.

ADD: And in that discussion, I think someone suggested Fresca in the place of white wine?...

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Zalmoxis
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Forgive me for my inattention, but....

When did Annie get back? Is there some official welcoming thread where I can officially welcome?

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Zalmoxis
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I haven't done any cooking with wine. There is a recipe in a recent Sunset magazine for beef ale stew with green onion dumplings that I'd like to try, though.
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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by ketchupqueen:
I think he meant brats the sausages. Bratwurst is traditionally (in some parts of America, at least) cooked in beer when it is not grilled.

No no no -- cooked in beer and then grilled.
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ketchupqueen
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That, too. But around here, it's usually an either/or proposition.
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kmbboots
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Thanks, dkw! I was going to have to object! And kq, honey, it doesn't matter how you cook them if you ruin them by putting ketchup on them anyway. [Wink]
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BlackBlade
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I am fine with eating something that has been cooked in alcohol as for me its cooked out and will no longer harm me in any degree.

That was very courteous of you Dag to call in advance and find out. This is one of those topics where there is no official church doctrine on the issue and there could be a polarized response amongst Mormons.

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MightyCow
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If there's no grill handy, cook the bratwurst in beer, then just let the beer evaporate out (see, no alcohol left) and let the sausages brown in the pan.

If you're so inclined, you can throw in some sliced onion too for extra delicious.

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Dagonee
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I have to compile my notes to post the recipe. I will say that searing the scallops (there's no point having scallops that haven't been seared) and then deglazing the pans with the wine made for a wonderful, wonderful base to the broth.

BTW, when I cooked it, it boiled ferociously for about 5 minutes, then stopped bubbling for about a minute, then started boiling again. If I remember my 10th grade distillation lab, the first boiling was the alcohol going away at 185 or so, the second was the water boiling.

I wish I'd set up the probe thermometer to test it.

As for brats, there must be grilling or browning of some kind, and there must be beer. Also, only dark mustard on top.

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Megan
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Darn this thread, now I want brats. And my hubby doesn't like em, so when I get them it's only for me.
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Zalmoxis
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Agreed on brats.

I visited my in-laws in Wisc. last summer. I wasn't sure if I liked brats or not -- I had had one once and wasn't very impressed.

At dinner I tried one with sauerkraut and French's mustard. Didn't work for me. Tried one with ketchup. Was even worse.

But the next day for lunch I pulled out a dark, grainy mustard and had it with sauerkraut. Completely different experience. I'm a big fan now and was delighted to discover that even out here in Calif. you can sometimes get the Johnsonville party back (that's 12 brats, yo) at Costco.

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Shigosei
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Wow, this has been quite an educational thread!

quote:
If I remember my 10th grade distillation lab
The school taught you how to distill alcohol?

quote:
the first boiling was the alcohol going away at 185 or so, the second was the water boiling.
I'm sorry to say my first thought was that water boils at 100 degrees, so why would the ethanol boil first? And then I realized that I've been doing science way too long. It isn't as bad as the other day when I saw 93 on an ice cream machine readout and thought for a moment that it might be the temperature -- in Kelvin.

As an aside, regarding science and alcohol, I once bought alcohol when I was 17. Of course, I was buying it from the chemical store for the lab I worked in and it probably had benzene in it or something. Still, it's interesting that apparently it's perfectly fine for a minor to be in possession of lab ethanol for scientific purposes.

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ketchupqueen
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Lab ethanol will also kill you fairly quickly if you try to drink it like beer.
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Tante Shvester
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My high school taught us how to distill alcohol. And I suspect that Dag hasn't moved to the metric system, and that's why his alcohol is boiling at 185.

You can also freeze distill alcohol, since it has a lower freezing point than water. I've done this at home, and find it easier than steam distillation, since you just have to separate the liquid from the solid, not the gas from the solid. Capturing the gas involves all kinds of length of condensation tubing, tight seals, yadda yadda ya.

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Zalmoxis
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Excuse me but are these ice cubes non-alcoholic?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
That, too. But around here, it's usually an either/or proposition.
Egad. Boiled brats -- i.e. brats that are boiled and then NOT carmelized by frying or grilling -- are of Satan.
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quidscribis
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I don't think I've ever had brats the sausage. Huh. The way y'all are waxing poetic about them, it almost sounds like I'm missing something.
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RunningBear
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I have wanted to make very close to 200 proof alcohol as an experiment to see exactly how fast it combusts.

I hear it is almost explosive on its own.

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quidscribis
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You could also buy it - 190 proof, that is. Everclear, for example.
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Verloren
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At our monthly work parties (BAD Friday we call it, as an acronym for Burgers And Dogs), we have had Brats as well.

Since we were all LDS, someone got the idea that using a non-alcoholic beer would be OK. I don't know about doctrine or the actual alcohol content, but I do know that those were some yummy brats (not that I have ever had brats cooked in real beer to compare against).

I can hardly wait for our next BAD Friday!

-V

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by MightyCow:
If there's no grill handy, cook the bratwurst in beer, then just let the beer evaporate out (see, no alcohol left) and let the sausages brown in the pan.

If you're so inclined, you can throw in some sliced onion too for extra delicious.

Criminal. A Bratwurst is by definition a grilled sausage. Boiling it in anything would make it a Kochwurst rather than a Bratwurst and boiling a sausage which was designed to be grilled is a crime against decent cusine.
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Primal Curve
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quote:
Originally posted by ketchupqueen:
That, too. But around here, it's usually an either/or proposition.

Since "around here" is CA, which is not in any way shape or form the bastion of Germanic heritage that WI and MN are, I'd hardly call it authoritative. I can only assume that the folks 'round your parts are wallowing in pure wurstian ignorance.
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ClaudiaTherese
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Indeed, their wurst is not the best.
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